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Families Crew MACR 12423 Never told Wreck found 1947


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Parents T/Sgt. Reynolds

Informed only aircraft lost in bad weather return leg to Biak from Leyte, and never found. Plane in fact found 1947 by Sq/Ldr Keith Rundle, RAAF. My Grandfather corresponded with SQN. Officers until about 1970. No additional information ever discovered. Will continue my research, which is very limited as of this date. James Reynolds Bertel,M.D.

  • Gibbstown,N.J.
  • 1945-1982

Map, Geosat view , marker.

Geosat, Marker is Mokmer Drome, Biak. Upper left is barely visible Leyte Gulf (NNW fromBiak, bearing 319 degrees), 319 is PQ outbound course. Three ships depart 0515 30 Sept.44, few naut. Miles due E Mindanao, 50 knot crosswind out of the West encountered. This is a Tropical Cyclone, stalled or moving N. slowly, center of the Low is over Panay to the NNW of Mission Pack. 274z3: Guerry, Harms, and 3rd Ship (Tubbs?). Guerry turns back,prob. At pt. of No Return(fuel expended exceeds safe margin tgreet back to Mokmer). The other two take up assigned photo runs, one over Gulf beaches and Gulf islets from Surigao Strait to tip of Samar, the other takes the center, right up the mountain spine of Leyte, maybe swings back over Ormoc on Leyte W. coast, a likely bay there for Jap. Surface units,  or Marus bringing Gen. Suzuki's 12th Army reinforcements from Luzon to the North. Both Ships rendezvous Gulf at about 1345 , ( arr. Target 1215, so 1.45 time over target).depart Gulf Course 124 deg. Separated by weather 30 minutes later at 1415hrs. 124 takes just over S. Palaus, over Peleliu, AT WHICH POINT must turn starboard to Course 160 for Mokmer. PQ misses Palau Waypoint, Course still 124. ETA sent Mokmer by Bondage Able(PQ) at 1400ETA PQ is 1800. Thus 4 hrs, at 250 knots is 800 naut miles. PQ at time of its ETA signal is on 124 250 naut miles distant Leyte on return leg. After they pass Palaus , just past, they are on 124 , say 30 min. After missing Palaus, 125 naut. Miles East by Southeast Palaus ,these islands are now 125 mi. Behind their stern, they are moving steadily away on 124. Extend  124 Course ,pencil line is now Maj. Davis sketch in MACR. It intersects Equator, 0 deg. Latitude on his sketch now superimposed over Aust. aero. Chart in MACR. PQ posit. Here is 0 deg., 137 E longitude.

N.B. Itisstill a puzzle to me where I got posit. As lat. 1deg15 min.N,long 138deg,55min.E or 1,55N 138,15E,the first I recall best. It had to be PAC Wrecks site or 20th CMS site, but I cannot reproduce the thing, until then these posits are not valid. So we have gottogowith Davis.

PQ(Bondage Able) now knows it missed Palaus and must know still 124 degrees course.I will pause here, a pretty good place to make any readers want to see the finale of all this speculation. The preceding has been written on pure memory, and may need refinement, but I now am going to examine the large scale nautical and Aeronaut. Charts obtained various sources, Jap, Russian, some U.S. obscure Agency can't recall the name, I think Georecon Intel. Or something, British Admiralty Hydrographic , US National Observatory, USAF Jet Nav. Charts, Natl. Geographic, Naval Postgrad. Meteorological research papers and their weather maps of  E. ands S. China Seas, and several other sources. Be back in 24 hrs, must get dividers,protractors,circular slide rules etc. and try recall sufficient former sea and land Navigation Courses. And teach myself Air Nav. Land Nav, will never forget that. Of help is knowledge of Cartography, tactical topographic that is. JRBMD 290313 0249Z

  • SW Pacific
  • 3/29/13

Progress Report

Rexam of last communication 29 March reveals my lack of air Nav. Ability. Am now sure I will require consultation with a pilot and navigator for a realistic reconstruct of Mission 274Z3.  Have 1944 circular slide rule , Air Nav. Manual computer for AAF written by American Airlines.  Will need a few weeks to teach myself  proper use of this device, acquire Sea and Air Nav. Instruments. First order of business is to contact JPAC and RAAF and send them essential files.  Will request formal decision on Sarmi Site  Visit by JPAC.  Will send them mitochondrial DNA sample. If I am able to reach any interested Next of Kin of rest of Crew, will try to obtain DNA for the other men. Manila American Cem. Has 2  remains interred. Asking for try at DNA match difficult, perhaps JPAC can help with this. Will post next Comm. in about 2-3 weeks. JRB,M.D. 030313  1447Z.

  • Sewell,N.j.
  • 3 April 2013


Examined 3 sites for aerial images from Sarmi Penin. , WNW to ? Mamberano River estuary.  Both WE MAPS and WORLD HISTOR MAPS have gray scale images, AFTER you zoom down to about Alt. of about 3-5 thousand feet. Vertical View. Find Sarmi on its small peninsula, note Sparse housing and buildings, then follow coast to your left( WNW). Stop at first small river flowing into Sea. Note the faint white line that detours around the river mouth then rejoins the coast , thence extends along coast to your left.  now go inland from the APEX of the arc formed by theWhite  Line. Think COMPASS ROSE. Take heading 205 from apex . GO SLOW, MAINTAIN YOUR ALTITUDE, STOP WHEN YOU JUST OFF THE LEFT BANK of the first LOOP OF A STREAM.  Now zoom out carefully until you see Coast and Sarmi.  SEE STRAIGHT DOWN CLOSE TO RIVER LOOP A  DARK SCAR , BLACK, REST OF SWAMP AROUND IT STILL GRAY. The dark scar is THE BEETLE:  From the fat part (BODY), scan slowly along its Length you will see the smallerHEAD.  Protrding from here are the two ANTENNAE POINTING obliquely toward the coast .  The Beetle about 2-3 miles S by W.   Bearing is about 220 from Sa

See the image if I am able to transfer it to this site and see the resemblance possibly to a beetle. 


I shall return with the close exam of this and its adjacent  area.

  • Mangrove Swamps Near Sarmi Town
  • June 5, 2013 00430Z

Contributor: Raidco24
Created: October 28, 2012 · Modified: June 28, 2013

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